The Jaroslavl Fresco

Wallpainting of a pillar in the Church of St. John Chrysostom

The Jaroslavl Fresco

By David Chorlton


The Jaroslavl Fresco

A likeness of God stares through the plaster.
At twilight he turns into a wolf.
His eyes are close together
and the pupils float on luminous globes.
Hair covers all
but the cheekbones

pushing against a patch of sallow skin.
It grows thicker by the century,
wild from its roots

to the frost on the tips
when he runs in moonlight
through the silent forest

with a star of blood
shining from prey in his teeth.


About the Author: David Chorlton is a transplanted European, who has lived in Phoenix since 1978. His poems have appeared in many publications online and in print, and often reflect his affection for the natural world, as well as occasional bewilderment at aspects of human behavior. A recent collection of poems is Bird on a Wire from Presa Press, and The Bitter Oleander Press published Shatter the Bell in my Ear, his translations of poems by Austrian poet Christine Lavant. A new book, Reading T. S. Eliot to a Bird, is out from Hoot ‘n Waddle, based in Phoenix.

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